Rob Huff: “We have a good set-up, but must improve in qualifying”

Zengo Motorsport driver Rob Huff bounced back from a race one retirement at Motorland Aragon with a strong recovery driver in race two.

However, he believes that the team still has to work to do to improve the qualifying performance of the Cupra Leon Competición as he looks to impress on his return to WTCR.

“Unfortunately, the race weekends are the learning weekends, as I only had four hours of testing prior to the season,” Huff told TouringCarTimes.

“I was testing in Budapest and then we went straight to the Nordschleife, where we had the suspension problems and also issues with the splitter. So really we had Estoril and here, two circuits where we are learning.

“[Mikel] Azcona knows the car very well as he’s been testing and developing the car since the beginning, so we always know that what he has is good, so we are trying different things.”

Huff retired from the opening race with a clutch issue, with the team breaking parc fermé to repair the car on time for race two.

The Briton started from the back of the grid, driving a strong race to finish ninth.

“Unfortunately we had to break parc fermé because the clutch broke and changed the set-up to something more like what we had in Estoril which worked really well there and again here,” he said.

“So we found a good base set-up we can work with and move forward from that.”

Huff came against Cyan Racing’s Yvan Muller in the latter part of the race, overtaking the Frenchman for tenth place. For the Briton, it was like the old days.

“It always puts a smile on my face when I see Yvan on track as we had so many years together,” he said. “We had some difficult battles but also some great ones. We are good friends off the track as well, so it’s always nice to have those battles.

“He hit me in the last lap, he was trying hard, but he gave the place back to me… So I love racing against people like Yvan. We don’t make mistakes, or don’t make them very often so, for me, it’s always a pleasure to race against Yvan.”

Looking ahead Huff sees room for improvement in the Cupra, especially regarding qualifying performance.

“We seem to still be struggling despite the BoP break and the compensation weights,” he said. “We had a big advantage over the Honda but we should be closer to the Audis, as we are very similar on compensation weight and BoP but they were quite a lot stronger than us this weekend.

“So, despite Cupra supporting us with the car, I think there is something somewhere missing. We’ve seen that our race performance here and looking to Budapest is really strong but we are still missing something in qualifying, especially with regards to the grip from the tyres.

“Myself together with Jordi, with Mikel and with Bence are really close and we can try new things and get feedback from each of the drivers and try new things and rely on the feedback from each other. So now the team is starting to really work well together, so we can improve the qualifying.”